A slight increase in top grades and standard passes to a four-year high
The percentage of GCSE entries achieving the top grades – at A/7 or above – has increased slightly compared with last year, rising from 20.5 per cent in 2018 to 20.8 per cent this year.
The proportion of entries achieving C/4 also rose to 62.9 per cent, up 0.6 percentage points against last year.
Passes at G/1 remained the same, with 98.3 per cent of entries achieving this both this year and in 2018.
However, overall, today's data suggests that results have stabilised as students and teachers have got used to the new qualifications.
Boys’ boost in top grades vanishes
Some 24.1 per cent of girls achieved the top grades this year, compared with a 17.6 per cent figure for boys – creating a gender gap of 6.5 percentage points, the same as last year.
However, the gender gap at the standard pass rate of C/4 has continued to narrow, with 71.7 per cent of girls gaining C/4 grades and above compared with 62.9 per cent of boys. This narrows the gap in performance from 9.1 percentage points last year to 8.8.
Language entries revive
Entries in modern foreign languages have risen by 3 per cent compared with last year. French entries are up by 3.2 per cent, while Spanish entries are up by 7.5 per cent.
Spanish has exceeded 100,000 entries for the first time ever, according to data from the Joint Council for Qualifications.
These figures are somewhat surprising given that the Department for Education said it was “struggling hugely” with GCSE entry numbers in MFL last year.
Girls achieve more top grades in Stem
In chemistry, girls improved their share of top grades by 1.1 percentage points, in physics by 2.1 percentage points and in maths by 0.6 percentage points.
And in biology, often thought of as the science where girls dominate, the reverse happened, with boys narrowing the gender gap at grades A/7 or above – with the proportion achieving these grades up by 1.1 percentage points.
In English literature, boys also narrowed the gender gap in achieving C/4 grades and above – 66.4 per cent of boys’ entries achieved this level, up by 0.6 percentage points since last year.